Firstly, thanks for your interest in what we believe to be a truly superior dry food for all generations of your most active companion. We want every transition to be successful. To that end, please read carefully and contact us for individualized assistance. If, after reading this page in its entirety, you have questions, message me (Jen, Head Honcho) at Jen@VirtueDogFood.com and tell me all about your dog, his/her lifestyle, age, breed, known health issues, current diet, etc. and I will help formulate a transition plan to increase the chances of immediate success with no setbacks.
The most important takeaway from this page is that K-9 Octane, like the name suggests, is a performance diet. It might even be unlike anything your dog has eaten before. It's entirely possible it has twice the calories and fat of his/her current food. As such, some common sense must prevail. The importance of a SLLLOOOOW and gradual transition cannot be overstated.
Not only is a slow transition necessary to avoid digestive upset, but it is expected that overall portions will need to decrease as well, potentially substantially. If, for example, your current food is 409 calories/cup and you feed 2 cups per day, that's 818 calories per day. If you switched to 2 cups of K-9 Octane, that's 1218 calories per day, a difference of 400 calories, the near-equivalent of one full cup! So, pay close attention to the calories in the previous food, while bearing in mind that not all calories are created equal, and it's still wise to take your time.
How much time you take depends on what your dog is currently eating, whether your dog is currently at an ideal weight, and your dog's individual lifestyle and sensitivity to change. Typically, one week to ten days is sufficient to gradually move your dog from their previous food to K-9 Octane. However, it is important that you don't feed too much during this time. Transition plans for most commercial foods replace equal portions of old food with new food in small increments daily until the dog is fully transitioned to eating the same amount of the new food. As mentioned above, that would likely increase daily calories fed by a significant amount, and have unintended consequences like weight gain and digestive upset. So, we recommend the following guidelines for changing your dog to K-9 Octane.
Start by removing a small portion of your dog's previous food and adding some K-9 Octane, BUT instead of the equivalent portion you withheld, give a little less K-9 Octane than you withheld.
EXAMPLE: For simplicity's sake, let's say our example dog eats 2 cups per meal.
STEP 1: Feed your dog 1 3/4 cups of their previous food. Instead of giving them 1/4 cup of K-9 Octane to give them their normal 2 cup serving, give them +/- 1/8 of a cup of K-9 Octane, so that the total meal is +/- 1/8 cup less. Do this for 2-3 days or until stools are satisfactory.
STEP 2: Feed 1 1/2 cups of their previous diet and instead of adding 1/2 cup of K-9 Octane, this time, only give them 1/4- 1/3 of a cup. Again, continue this ratio, adjusting as necessary, for a couple days until you're seeing ideal stool consistency.
STEP 3: Feed 1 cup of their previous diet and 1/2-3/4 of a cup of K-9 Octane. Once stools normalize again, proceed in this same fashion to replace the rest of the previous diet with K-9 Octane as we did above, ensuring that you are reducing overall portion sizes and allowing time to evaluate how your dog metabolizes K-9 Octane.
How much or how little you reduce will depend on whether your dog is just perfect or needs to gain or lose weight and how sensitive their stomach is. The importance of tailoring your transition to your individual dog cannot be overstated.
PLEASE DO NOT OVERFEED your dog. If you have questions about how to transition, please contact us and we will take your dog's current diet into consideration and recommend a transition plan tailored specifically to your dog.
Check the chart below periodically to ensure that your dog is never above a 5. Puppies, especially large breed puppies, should ideally be kept at a 4 to minimize the risk of developmental orthopedic disorders.